We’re in This Together. Gentle Reminders for All Moms

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There are several memes out there that showcase the “mom village.” Some are humorous, some are sad, and some are very true and comforting. When I think about the “mom village,” I think about all of the different types of moms, and the strengths that we collectively have that can be woven together to ignite a powerful community. I also think about the unwanted and unnecessary judgment and criticism.

Community is a powerful thing. A community has the great privilege to build each other up, but unfortunately, also the influence to tear each other down. Today, I encourage all moms to make a pact to help build up the mom community. We can have different opinions and we can even widely disagree with each other, but we can also choose kindness and compassion as a bond to unify us.

Let’s advocate for each other.

To the adoptive mom.

To the birth mom.

To the mom who has endured a heartbreaking loss.

To the mom who decided to place her child in foster care or up for adoption.

To the single mom.

To the widowed mom.

To the divorced mom.

To the working mom.

To the stay-at-home mom.

To the mom who suffers from depression, anxiety, or another emotional challenge.

To the mom who decided to have only one child.

To the mom who had 10 children and more.

To the hopeful mom experiencing infertility.

To the mom experiencing secondary infertility.

To the mom with a special needs child(ren).

To ALL of the mom’s out there.

I see you. We see you. You are special. You are loved.

As part of our mom community:

Give yourself grace. Give each other grace.

Remember that you are human and you will make mistakes.

Ignore the negative feelings about yourself that creep up from the feelings of a “fail-full” day or those said by others who don’t know you or your situation.

Laboring for perfection is exhausting and sometimes impossible in the world we live in.

Things to remember

Remember this. Your success is not defined by the cleanliness of your house, the number of activities you do with your kids, your waist size, the kind of car you drive, etc. Your success is defined by how YOU define it, and if this is by how clean your house is, it’s because a clean house matters to you and not something you’re doing to impress others.

Know that your best is going to look different on different days, and probably different throughout the years and maybe even with each child. You only know what you know today. That is the beauty of life…we have the opportunity to continually evolve.

Treat yourself as you would treat your own friend. Give yourself encouragement, grace, words of kindness, acceptance, and love.

Don’t beat yourself up over not accomplishing everything on your to-do list. Sometimes more cuddles or self-care is just more important than the next load of laundry needing to be done or cleaning out the closet.

Let your mistakes be visible opportunities to role model to your kids. In one of my therapy appointments, I was struggling with how I yelled at one of my children. I shared with my therapist that I later grabbed my son up, hugged him and said I was sorry. She said this was the best thing I could have done because I modeled imperfection and kids need to see this. If they are always held to high expectations, their anxiety will skyrocket. Show them that we make mistakes and it’s okay. Follow it up by sharing how we respond when we make mistakes.

Refuse the opportunity to harshly judge another because you don’t agree with their parenting choices. Remember, we are all different, our situations are all different.

Tackle and embrace the different seasons of life and stages of development your child(ren) go through. We are constantly evolving, requiring us to constantly adapt too. Try not to let the hard stages result in distance with your children or loved one, but instead, grow together.

Do not be ashamed of your feelings. Your feelings are yours and yours alone. Sometimes it is hard to admit our feelings, but they are part of us and as long as we are facing our feelings to grow as a mom, wife, friend, sister, mother, entrepreneur, etc., we are prospering.

Be flexible…sometimes things just don’t go as planned. Sometimes life derails us for something even better.

The days are busy and there are times when things have to get done. During these days, remember quality over quantity. You may not have been able to play with your child(ren) all day, but you did dedicate 10 minutes of special playtime that was just about you and your child(ren) being together.

I write this as a reminder to myself just as much as a reminder to any mom reading this. While I believe in the above, am I always able to practice it? Nope, definitely not, but I truly believe that the more we practice being who we want to be, the closer we’ll get to be her. Let’s all support each other in becoming our best selves.

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Melissa Butcher
Melissa recently resigned from her career in higher education and was promoted to her new title as Dr. Mom to two-under-two. Her quest to have a family involved a long road of infertility struggles. She has a son named Rowan who is 21 months old and a girl named Ildi who is 6 months old. There is never a dull moment in the Butcher house with two-under-two. Their days are fast, dirty, silly and tiring, yet also imaginative, magical and memorable. Melissa is passionate about conquering every great moment as well as the challenging moments, with love. She truly embraces the Beatle’s philosophy of “All You Need is Love” especially in moments when she finds herself gritting her teeth and taking deep breaths during the blissful chaos occurring in her home. She enjoys reading, baking, decorating cakes, walking, biking, spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers. She also enjoys writing for infertility and adoption focused organizations, striving to serve and support families pursuing assisted reproductive technologies and adoption to achieve their dreams in becoming parents. In writing for Charleston Moms Blog, Melissa hopes to bring Moms together in enjoying and laughing about the special and comical moments of being a mom as well as providing the comfort and support that all Moms need on this journey we adoringly call Motherhood.

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